Waterloo Region returns to in-person Canada Day celebrations

Waterloo Region held its first in-person Canada Day celebrations since 2019 and there were several local events for residents to show off their Canadian pride.

The City of Kitchener organized a party at Carl Zehr Square, the first major community event at that location since construction wrapped up last month.

"This is the first event that the square is being utilized, which is exciting for us," Jeff Young, the city’s special events manager, told CTV News.

A pre-event block party hosted by the Downtown Kitchener BIA and Good Company Productions featured live music from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the corner of Gaukel Street and Halls Lane West, leading up to the main concert in front of city hall.

"It’s awesome to see so many people around," said party-goer Vikas Kumar. "It’s been awhile and I’m pretty sure it’s hard for people, but getting around together like this is amazing for the community."

In Cambridge, Canada Day celebrations also returned with a parade down King Street, followed by a fair at Riverside Park.

"I’m glad to see a lot of people out," said Brad Coles, treasurer of the Cambridge Celebrates Canada Day committee. "I was really surprised with all the people at the parade. It’s a good event."

Cambridge resident Lucy Homen said this year’s festivities had added meaning because she wasn’t able to celebrate Canada the same way during the pandemic.

"We have been in our condos and our homes and not be able to go back to work and stuff like that, so today was a little more emotional that we got to celebrate," she said. "I wasn’t born here, so Canada is freedom to me."

Several fireworks shows were also scheduled across Waterloo Region.

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